April 26, 2007
How to Access Blocked Websites — by Amit Agarwal
Yesterday my New England correspondent noted an inability to access bookofjoe at work.
This cannot and will not stand.
Very, very useful information, especially in countries where firewalls are the default settting.
Here's the article.
- How to Access Blocked Websites
Blocking access to undesirable Web sites through the use of Internet protocol filters has been a common government tactic since commercial Internet access first became available here in 1995. China and Saudi Arabia are believed to extend greater censorship over the net than any other country in the world under the pretext of information control.
Most of the blacklisted sites in Saudi Arabia are either sexually explicit or about religion, women, health, drugs and pop culture. They even block access to websites about bathing suits. So if you want to buy something to swim in, they seem to treat that as if it were pornographic in Saudi Arabia.
In China, webites containing sexually explicit content were among those blocked, but they also included sites on sensitive topics such as Tibet, Taiwan, and dissident activity. China also blocks access to Google News, Typepad and Blogger hosted blogs.
But what if an innocent website is accidentally blocked by your ISP or your government. There are always legitimate reasons to visit these blocked websites. We have listed a few methods to help you access blocked websites in school, college, office or at home.
Approach 1: There are websites like Anonymizer that fetch the blocked site/ page from their servers and display it to you. As far as the service provider is concerned you are viewing a page from Anonymizer and not the blocked site.
Approach 2: To access the blocked Web site. type the IP number instead of the URL in the address bar. But if the ISP software maps the IP address to the web server (reverse DNS lookup), the website will remain blocked.
Approach 3: Use a URL redirection service like tinyurl.com or snipurl.com. These domain forward services sometimes work as the address in the the url box remain the redirect url and do not change to the banned site.
Approach 5: Enter the URL in Google or Yahoo search and then visit the cached copy of the page. To retrieve the page more quickly from Google's cache, click "Cached Text Only" while the browser is loading the page from cache.
Approach 6: A recent Oreilly story on accessing blocked websites suggested an approach to access restricted web sites using Google language tools service as a proxy server. Basically, you have Google translate your page from English to English (or whatever language you like). Assuming that Google isn’t blacklisted in your country or school, you should be able to access any site with this method. Visit this site via Google Proxy
Approach 7: Anonymous Surfing Surf the internet via a proxy server. A proxy server (or proxies) is a normal computer that hides the identity of computers on its network from the Internet. Which means that only the address of the proxy server is visible to the world and not of those computers that are using it to browse the Internet. Just visit the proxy server website with your Web browser and enter a URL (website address) in the form provided.
This page has a long list of proxies. You can either choose one yourself or let the service choose a random proxy for you. Also bookmark the DMOZ directory of free web-based proxy services and DMOZ directory of free proxy servers
Update: China appears to have moved beyond simply blocking access to a Web site with IP filters and may now be employing packet filters to scan individual packets for undesirable information, said Duncan Clark, managing director at telecommunication analyst BDA China Co. Ltd.
Book Bags — Literally
I've heard that you can't tell
a book by its cover
but I had no idea
the opposite was true for a bag.
Not until I encountered the one-off
creations of Caitlin Phillips.
"Dog Owners 'Fleeced' in Poodle Scam" — "That Poodle Don't Bark"
Look at the picture above.
What do you see?
I've heard the phrase "mutton dressed up as lamb" but this is ridiculous.
From metro.co.uk comes the following item:
- Dog Owners 'Fleeced' in Poodle Scam
Is it a lamb? Is it a poodle? Can you spot the difference?
Thousands of people have been 'fleeced' into buying neatly coiffured lambs they thought were poodles.
Entire flocks of lambs were shipped over from the UK and Australia to Japan by an internet company and marketed as the latest 'must have' accessory.
But the scam was only spotted after a leading Japanese actress said her 'poodle' didn't bark and refused to eat dog food.
Maiko Kawakami, who starred in the Japanese thriller Violent Cop, showed photographs of her pet on a television talk show only to be told it wasn't a dog — but was in fact a lamb.
The discovery prompted hundreds of women to contact the police with similar problems and the authorities believe as many as 2,000 people have been conned.
'We launched an investigation after we were made aware that a company was selling sheep as poodles,' a police spokesman told The Sun.
'Sadly, we think there is more than one company operating in this way.
'The sheep are believed to have been imported from overseas — Britain and Australia.'
Poodles are famously used by the rich and glamourous on the continent but are extremely rare in Japan, with many people having little idea what they look like.
The company, which translates as Poodles as Pets, sold the 'poodles' for £630, about half the cost of a normal poodle but is now understood to have been shut down.
[via Adam P. Knave's hellblazer.net]
Chromatherapy on the cheap — Episode 2: Price break means it just got even cheaper
A year later the very same color-changing mood light is back at half the original price.
From the website:
- Color-Changing Pool/Tub Light
Color-Changing Light creates a magical mood in your pool or tub!
Cordless electric light (2 shown) provides a continuous color show as it changes from blue to red to green to yellow.
Can also be set to "white light only" option.
Attaches instantly to side of pool, bath or hot tub with included suction cup.
Uses 4 AA batteries (not included).
I don't think it's gonna get any cheaper so if you were waiting, now's the time to strike.
Marcel Vigneron's Potato with Truffle Espuma
He writes, "Foam, isomalt, and sodium alginate aren't usual ingredients in a reality TV show soufflé. But they got Marcel Vigneron [above and below] to the finals of "Top Chef" this past season. Ultimately, the 27-year-old's innovative cuisine didn't win, but it spoon-fed molecular gastronomy to the masses."
Here's the quick and dirty on his Potato with Truffle Espuma, pictured above and below in the making.
Key Ingredients: Potato, truffle, nitrous oxide.
1) Wrap a paper-thin slice of potato around a metal tube and deep fry.
2) Fill with a foam of warmed egg whites, cream and black-truffle juice, squirted from a siphon that can handle both hot and cold liquids.
That's the winner of the bookofjoe Best Comment of the Month™ award.
If "SomeBody" would kindly step forward and identify her/himself, I will be happy to send you your prize forthwith.
Herbs in a Pouch
- Blooms in a Bag Set
Grow your own herb garden, indoors or out, any time of year — the herbs grow right inside the bags!
Discover the pleasure of cooking with the very freshest herbs, grown at home.
• Set of 3 includes Italian parsley, oregano and basil
• Seeds germinate in days and are ready for use in 6-8 weeks
• Plants grow in leak-proof bags — no transplanting required
• Just water, harvest and enjoy
• 6"L x 3"W x 7"H
Wall Street Journal Editorial Page Chokes on Newsroom's Pulitzer Prize Hairball
Why no one's mentioned it I have no idea but the Wall Street Journal's editorial page has consistently pooh-pooh'd the whole backdating uproar as a mere accounting technicality, a bagatelle if you will.
For example, on January 10, 2007, we find the following there: "Question whether backdating is really the crime of the century, or merely a business curiosity blown way out of proportion by poorly reasoned coverage."
And, "All that backdating comes down to is a nonmaterial accounting irregularity... involving a defective judgment about whether 'in the money' options needed to undergo expensing."
And, ""Indeed, much of what is pejoratively called 'backdating' was actually undertaken in good faith."
It would have been kind of hard for the paper's editorial page staff not to notice that four of their very own news reporters last week received the Pulitzer Prize for their work in unearthing the backdating "curiosities" or, as the New York Times put it in the lead sentence of its story, "uncovering the unethical practices of business executives who had rewarded themselves millions of dollars by backdating stock options."
And, "the articles, by Charles Forelle, James Bandler, Mark Maremont and Steve Stecklow, have led to the federal investigation of more than 130 companies, and at least 70 top executives have lost their jobs."
In fact, the Pulitzer citation read, "Awarded to The Wall Street Journal for its creative and comprehensive probe into backdated stock options for business executives that triggered investigations, the ouster of top officials and widespread change in corporate America."
Like I said — better get out that hairball medicine.
Floating Ping-Pong Table
From the website:
- Floating Waterproof Table Tennis
Stay cool while playing a heated game of table tennis in the pool.
This 54"L x 27"W floating table keeps the fun in the water.
The table features a hard surface for solid slap shots, while the soft sides make it safe for passing swimmers.
You can also use as a tabletop game outside the pool, whether on the patio or in the house.
Includes oversized floating paddles, net with supports and three regulation balls.
• It all floats — paddles, balls and table all float, so they're always within reach
• Pool or poolside — versatile floating game can also be set up on a tabletop in the rec room or on the porch
• Hard surface, soft sides — the table's hard surface allows for fast game play, while the soft sides make it safe for those who swim close to the action
Oh, yeah, I almost forgot: Flautist, we'll be installing a pool so you can get going ASAP.